‘Deadbeat dad’ cleared by DNA still faces jail

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Carnell Alexander (Image from WXYZ in Detroit)
Carnell Alexander (Image from WXYZ in Detroit)

Carnell Alexander (Image from WXYZ in Detroit)

If police find DNA evidence linking you to a crime you can kiss your future goodbye.

If you provide DNA evidence proving your innocence you may still have to pay a hefty fine or serve time behind bars.

WXYZ in Detroit brings us the sad tale of Carnell Alexander, who is being ordered by the state to pay $30,000 in back child support or go to jail despite DNA evidence showing he is not related to the child.

In 1991, Alexander was pulled over for a traffic violation and told there was a warrant for his arrest because he had ignored a court order to pay child support.

Alexander said he was “blown back” by the news because he didn’t know he was a father and had never seen a court order.

Over the years, Alexander, limited by an 8th-grade education and a lack of legal help, would go to court and tell the judge his situation — he had never met his alleged child, did not know where the mother lived and was in jail the day officers of the court say he signed the court order at his dad’s house.

According to research by WXYZ, a process server claimed Alexander was given a copy of the court order but refused to sign it. That scenario seems impossible, however, since jail records show Alexander was incarcerated at the time.

Alexander eventually found his accuser and paid to have a DNA test proving he was not the father of the child.

But a judge allegedly told Alexander it is “too late” for DNA evidence to reverse the court’s decades-old decision.

The mother of the child tells the TV station she signed up for public assistance in the late 1980s and was forced to “name the father.”

She guessed the father might be Alexander.

“Everything is my fault, that I put him through,” she said, adding that she has asked the state to forgive Alexander of the debt.

The state erased what Alexander owed the unnamed mother, but claims Alexander must still pay $30,000 for welfare benefits the child received.

My solution? Why not split the debt between the court worker who lied about Alexander signing the court order and the real father of the child, whoever that is.

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